When a disaster strikes, it’s too late to consider whether your insurance coverage is good enough. Whether you are dealing with a fire, water in the basement or mold damage, your insurance could be a blessing or a curse. At Werner, we see this happen first hand. It’s simply not enough to just have homeowner’s insurance (although it’s a good place to start). At Werner, we aren’t insurance experts. But we are lucky to work with a variety of local people who are – including Bart Reed, a Country Financial representative with 8 years of experiences. Here are a few mistakes he says you may be making when it comes to insurance.
Believing all insurance is the same.
The insurance industry is full of companies and policies and promises. But they aren’t all created equal. “I think so many people get caught up in price shopping,” says Bart. “But there’s a lot more to it.” Learn more about the company by getting recommendations from friends and researching on the Internet. You want to find a company with a great reputation for claims handling, customer service and coverage. And having a local representative can be an excellent bonus – when you need someone, you can talk to someone in person. (Instead of waiting for hours on the phone for help.)
Not purchasing renter’s insurance.
Renters often mistakenly believe that coverage on the property will also cover their personal belongings – but this is not usually the case. While the cost can be as low as $5/month, many people skip this coverage. And when a fire or other disaster happens, the renter may be left with nothing. “It seems like many renters – especially young people – don’t’ think about this,” says Bart. “Anyone living in a property should have their own coverage.” Not considering additional coverage for risk factors. In the Quad Cities, there are a few higher risk factors that many homeowners ignore. And when damage happens, the dollars add up. “These can lead to major damage and $20,000 or $30,000 in damages,” Bart explains.
Sump pump coverage
Bart says this is one of the biggest claim areas in the Quad Cities area. “All sump pumps have a shelf life,” he says. “And even though you don’t see water in your yard, there may be water around your foundation.” When water backs up from storms, drainage or blocked gutters, there’s a chance your sump pump won’t keep up. Water in your basement and mold may be shortly behind.
Most policies cover on-premises lightning – when lightning actually hits your home or property. However the risk of lightning can also happen outside your fence. But not all policies cover off-premises damage, when lightning hits a transformer or a neighbor’s home. This can also cause serious damage to your home, but may require a special add-on when shopping for insurance.
Depending on your situation, other add-ons may make sense. Small investments can cover risks you may face or save you from paying additional deductibles.
Ignoring the advice of an expert.
There is a reason that insurance experts are experts. “We ask the right questions to make sure people get exactly what they need,” Bart explains. “There are just too many variables to do it on your own.” Some representatives – like Bart – even prefer to meet with the policyholder in person to see the home and make sure the coverage is adequate.
Not understanding your coverage.
“Every person needs to be educated an informed about coverage,” says Bart. “Insurance should be customized to fit an individual’s needs.” This means that you need to ask questions and revisit your policy regularly. Working with a representative you know and trust is also important. But no one knows your situation better than you.
The bottom line.
If you are faced with damage from a fire, wind or water, you want to know you have prepared well. So spend the time finding the best coverage for your situation – for your own peace of mind.